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Passenger transport sub-sectors


Aviation

The aviation sub-sector is a large employer in the UK and includes 30 commercial airports, plus numerous private airports and airfields. It includes people employed in:

  • highly skilled and technical roles, such as pilots and air traffic control
  • customer service roles, including passenger check in and support, terminal and airport management and cabin crew
  • ground services undertaking tasks, such as baggage and cargo handling, aircraft preparation and flight planning

The UK aviation sub-sector is dominated by a small number of companies. The introduction of the low-cost airlines changed the structure of the sub-sector, but growth in this area is expected to slow.

Increasing security concerns, environmental pressures, rising oil prices, limited airport infrastructure and increasing openness in the airline market has led to significant changes in the aviation sub-sector. Air travel has decreased in the past few years, as the sub-sector has been affected by rising fuel costs and increasing amounts of regulation over noise and air pollution.

Key statistics:

  • There are 126,000 people working in the aviation sub-sector and over 2,200 employers.
  • Only 4% of companies employ more than 100 people, but this 4% employ 86% of the UK aviation workforce.
  • 63% of the workforce is male.
  • There are female dominated roles in the sub-sector, the main being cabin crew. Male dominated roles include baggage handling and aircraft ramp services.
  • 11% of the workforce is from an ethnic minority background
  • The average age of an employee is 40.2 years.
  • 11% of the workforce is under 25 years of age, 25% is aged 25-34 years, 31% is aged 35-44 years and 33% is over 45 years.
  • The average working hours for an aviation sub-sector employee are 38 per week.
  • Just 10% of the workforce is employed part-time.
  • In 2009, more than 218 million passengers were handled by UK airports.

Jobs in the sub-sector fall into the following areas:

  • Ground handling services – such as baggage/ramp handling, aircraft preparation, load planning officer, ramp supervisor, aircraft dispatcher
  • Airport operations – such as airport duty staff, support officer to team supervisor, airport terminal manager, customer support staff, air traffic control
  • Airline operations – such as passenger services staff, ground handling, cabin crew, first officer pilot, flight captain, cabin crew officer, aviation operation passenger services

For most entry level roles, there are no specific academic requirements other than a sound basic education. For pilot and air traffic control jobs, A levels are usually preferred before applicants are accepted for training. Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers are required to gain specific professional qualifications. For any customer-facing roles, experience of working in customer service environments, such as a call centre, bar, restaurant or shop work is an advantage. In some positions including passenger services and cabin crew, it is also an advantage to be able to speak another language. In roles that require physical effort, such as baggage handling, applicants have to prove that they are fit and healthy. All applicants for aviation sub-sector roles undergo criminal records bureau checks and certain criminal offences can prevent employment in the sub-sector.

Most aviation sub-sector jobs are advertised by the employers themselves.

Qualifications or experience in travel and tourism related areas are an advantage to those wishing to change career. For all jobs, the ability to follow instructions, keep to schedules and adhere to regulations is important.

For airlines, the main skills gaps are: job related IT (12% of companies reported a gap); safety/accident management (11%); and customer service (10%). The main skills gaps for those providing ‘air passenger transport on the ground’ are: foreign languages (28%); vehicle engineering and maintenance (12%); logistics and scheduling of services (12%) (i.e. planning staff rotas and timetabling services); job related IT (12%); and disability awareness (11%).

Airlines tend to have few recruitment difficulties, as they can receive hundreds of applications for just a few vacancies. Airport operations companies report some occasional problems with both recruitment and retention and say that it is difficult to get enough applicants with the right skills for some jobs.

Regional and national data:

  • East Midlands – There are 4,900 people working in the aviation sub-sector in the region. East of England – There are 13,600 people working in the aviation sub-sector in the region.
  • London – There are 25,300 people working in the aviation sub-sector in the region.
  • North East – There are 2,100 people working in the aviation sub-sector in the region.
  • North West – There are 13,600 people working in the aviation sub-sector in the region.
  • South East – There are 49,100 people working in the aviation sub-sector in the region.
  • South West – There are 6,100 people working in the aviation sub-sector in the region.
  • West Midlands – There are 6,500 people working in the aviation sub-sector in the region.
  • Yorkshire and the Humber – There are 2,200 people working in the aviation sub-sector in the region.
  • Northern Ireland – There are 2,200 people working in the aviation sub-sector in the region.
  • Scotland – There are 10,400 people working in the aviation sub-sector in the region.
  • Wales – There are 1,800 people working in the aviation sub-sector in the region.

Source: GoSkills AACS LMI report 2010

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Bus

The bus sub-sector provides scheduled transport services in cities, towns and villages across the UK. A large number of those working in the sub-sector are employed as bus drivers. There are also jobs in customer service, engineering and maintenance, together with jobs ensuring the delivery of services, such as planners, staff supervisors and administrators.

The UK bus sub-sector is made up of several large employers, which run many franchise operations, and other smaller, more local operators. The sub-sector struggles with recruitment and retention. The main areas of vacancies are in driving and engineering.

Key statistics:

  • There are around 212,000 people working in the bus sub-sector and around 5,200 employers.
  • The average age of employees is 45 years.
  • In 2008/09, over 4,701 million journeys were made by bus and light rail, with numbers increasing.
  • In the bus and coach sub-sectors combined, 80% of the workforce is male, the average of an employee is 45 years and 23% of the workforce is over 55 years
  • There are concerns as a large number of older employees are approaching, or have reached, retirement age, but there are not enough experienced employees to replace them.

Jobs in the sub-sector fall into the following areas:

  • Passenger services – such as customer services agent, passenger support assistant, conductor, operational support (i.e. in planning, performance management or marketing and sales)
  • Driving – such as bus drivers, team leaders, shift supervisors, scheduler, performance manager
  • Operations and service delivery – such as administrative staff (in planning, HR, marketing and sales or performance monitoring), assistant manager, transport manager
  • Engineering – such as technician, master technician, engineer, team leader, mentor, supervisor, mechanic, fitter

For most entry level jobs in operations and service delivery and passenger services, there are no specific academic requirements other than a sound basic education. For some service planning and monitoring jobs, bus companies may look for a higher level of maths or statistical ability. It is fairly common for people to move between certain areas of work in the sub-sector. For instance, drivers may move into planning, operations and service delivery roles and vice versa.

Drivers must obtain a category D driving licence (for passenger carrying vehicles) and must also achieve a certificate of professional competence before they can drive commercially. Training can be undertaken with a bus company, or independently with a specialist driving instructor. Intensive training programmes enable people to obtain the correct licence and certificate within approximately eight weeks.

Engineers can be recruited as trainees or as experienced mechanics or technicians. Applicants are usually expected to have had some basic education in engineering, such as a GCSE or entry level award in engineering or technology. For more experienced positions, applicants are usually expected to have relevant related work experience, such as car mechanic.

The sub-sector is influenced by passenger demand, which has increased since 2000, especially in London. Also, technological advancements are important as there is a need to introduce new technology to meet noise and pollution output restrictions. Many operators are looking to enhance bus performance through more environmentally friendly engine systems. There is also an increased use of technology in buses, with automatic fare machines and pass readers, CCTV and GPS tracking are in regular use.

The main skills gaps in the bus sub-sector are: foreign languages (24%); job related IT (21%); safety and accident management (15%). Other skills where there are perceived shortages include customer service skills and driver training.

Regional and national data:

[N.B. Data presented are for the bus and coach sub-sector.]

  • East Midlands – There are 15,400 people working in the bus and coach sub-sector in the region.
  • East of England – There are 20,300 people working in the bus and coach sub-sector in the region.
  • London – There are 43,600 people working in the bus and coach sub-sector in the region.
  • North East – There are 9,200 people working in the bus and coach sub-sector in the region.
  • North West – There are 30,000 people working in the bus and coach sub-sector in the region.
  • South East – There are 29,700 people working in the bus and coach sub-sector in the region.
  • South West – There are 19,400 people working in the bus and coach sub-sector in the region.
  • West Midlands – There are 12,700 people working in the bus and coach sub-sector in the region.
  • Yorkshire and the Humber – There are 23,000 people working in the bus and coach sub-sector in the region.
  • Northern Ireland – There are 4,400 people working in the bus and coach sub-sector in the region.
  • Scotland – There are 21,900 people working in the bus and coach sub-sector in the region.
  • Wales – There are 11,300 people working in the bus and coach sub-sector in the region

Source: GoSkills AACS LMI report 2010

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Coach

The coach sub-sector provides charter and scheduled services across the UK, from day trips and holidays to intercity journeys. A large number of those working in the sub-sector are employed as drivers. There are also jobs as customer assistants, tour guides and ticket sales, plus jobs in engineering, planning and administration.

The UK coach sub-sector is made up of several large employers. The sub-sector struggles with recruitment and retention. The main areas of vacancies are in driving and engineering.

Key statistics:

  • There are around 28,000 people working in the coach sub-sector and around 3,200 employers.
  • In the bus and coach sub-sectors combined, 80% of the workforce is male, the average of an employee is 45 years and 23% of the workforce is over 55 years
  • There are concerns as a large number of older employees are approaching, or have reached, retirement age, but there are not enough experienced employees to replace them.

Jobs in the sub-sector fall into the following areas:

  • Driving – such as coach drivers, team leaders, staff scheduler, performance manager
  • Passenger services – such as customer services agent, tour guides, operational support (i.e. in planning, performance management or marketing and sales)
  • Operations and service delivery – such as administrative staff (in planning, HR, marketing and sales or performance monitoring), operations officer
  • Engineering – such as technician, master technician, engineer, team leader, mentor, engineering manager, mechanic, fitter

For most entry level jobs in operations service delivery and passenger services, there are no specific academic requirements other than a sound basic education. For some service planning and monitoring jobs, coach companies may look for a higher level of maths or statistical ability. It is fairly common for people to move between certain areas of work in the sub-sector. For instance, drivers may move into planning, operations and service delivery roles and vice versa.

Drivers must obtain a category D driving licence (for passenger carrying vehicles) and must also achieve a certificate of professional competence before they can drive commercially. Training can be undertaken with a coach company, or independently with a specialist driving instructor. Intensive training programmes enable people to obtain the correct licence and certificate within approximately three to six weeks.

Engineers can be recruited as trainees or as experienced mechanics or technicians. Applicants are usually expected to have had some basic education in engineering, such as a GCSE or entry level award in engineering or technology. For more experienced positions, applicants are usually expected to have relevant related work experience, such as car mechanic.

The sub-sector is influenced by passenger demand, which has increased since 2000, especially in London. Also, technological advancements are important as there is a need to introduce new technology to meet noise and pollution output restrictions. Many operators are looking to enhance bus performance through more environmentally friendly engine systems. There is also an increased use of technology in buses, with automatic fare machines and pass readers, CCTV and GPS tracking are in regular use.

The main skills gaps in the coach sub-sector are: foreign languages (21%); disability awareness (13%); vehicle, engineering and maintenance (12%); driving (12%); job related IT (11%); and safety/accident management (11%). Other skills where there are perceived shortages include customer service skills and driver training.

Regional and national data:

[N.B. Data presented are for the bus and coach sub-sector.]

  • East Midlands – There are 15,400 people working in the bus and coach sub-sector in the region.
  • East of England – There are 20,300 people working in the bus and coach sub-sector in the region.
  • London – There are 43,600 people working in the bus and coach sub-sector in the region.
  • North East – There are 9,200 people working in the bus and coach sub-sector in the region.
  • North West – There are 30,000 people working in the bus and coach sub-sector in the region.
  • South East – There are 29,700 people working in the bus and coach sub-sector in the region.
  • South West – There are 19,400 people working in the bus and coach sub-sector in the region.
  • West Midlands – There are 12,700 people working in the bus and coach sub-sector in the region.
  • Yorkshire and the Humber – There are 23,000 people working in the bus and coach sub-sector in the region.
  • Northern Ireland – There are 4,400 people working in the bus and coach sub-sector in the region.
  • Scotland – There are 21,900 people working in the bus and coach sub-sector in the region.
  • Wales – There are 11,300 people working in the bus and coach sub-sector in the region.

Source: GoSkills AACS LMI report 2010

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Community transport

The community transport sub-sector in the UK provides a vital service to people who are unable to easily access other forms of public transport. Services include driving, passenger assistance and service coordination and planning, which are provided through cars, minibuses and coaches. A significant percentage of community transport operations are based in rural locations in order to supply better services in areas where other public transport services do not exist. Community transport work is undertaken by local authorities or by specialist organisations. Some private coach and bus operators also provide community transport services.

Key statistics:

  • There are around 10,000 people working in the community transport sub-sector.
  • There are hundreds of organisations of varying sizes; some have large numbers of employees whilst others have lots of volunteers.
  • Many positions in the sub-sector are voluntary or part-time.
  • 94% of companies employ at least one part-time person.
  • Opportunities for progression within the sub-sector can be limited.
  • It is a female dominated sub-sector, but no data are available on the proportion.
  • There are a large number of older workers, but no detailed data are available.

Jobs in the sub-sector fall into the following areas:

  • Driving – such as car, minibus and coach driver
  • Passenger support – such as passenger assistant
  • Operations management – such as operations assistant, operations manager

To work in the community transport sub-sector, there are no particular requirements for academic qualifications other than a sound basic education. It is fairly common for people to move between certain areas of work in the sub-sector. In terms of training specific to the community transport sub-sector, there are course on Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme and Passenger Assistant.

For driving jobs, a car driving licence is required to a drive a car or small minibuses (up to 9 seats). To drive larger minibuses or coaches, the driver needs a category D licence for passenger carrying vehicles. Training can be undertaken with a company, or independently with a specialist driving instructor.

For passenger assistance roles, employers may prefer candidates who have previous experience of working in a customer service environment. Passenger assistants may be required to help passengers, so it can be helpful to be physically fit.

The sub-sector faces a constant shortage of funding and so is not always able to react to technological and mechanical advancements. Community transport struggles to recruit both volunteers and paid employees. Issues for recruitment of paid workers include lack of necessary skills, such as disability awareness and safety management, and problems with low pay rates. There are concerns as a large number of older workers in the sub-sector and the sub-sector is not attractive to younger people.

The main skills gaps in the sub-sector are: job related IT (23% of companies); management and Leadership (23%); and safety/accident management (18%). The skills most valued in the sub-sector include: driving; customer service; communication; organisational skills; and team working. Other useful skills include: disability awareness; health and safety; first aid; and information technology.

The main occupations in the sub-sector are drivers and passenger assistants. 80% of companies do not have any other customer service occupations and 47% of companies have no senior managers.

There are limited regional data on the community transport sub-sector.

Source: GoSkills AACS LMI report 2010

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Driver training

The driver training sub-sector comprises people who provide any form of driver instruction, including learner drivers and those learning to drive buses, coaches and large goods vehicles. Other driver trainers teach specialist skills, such as advanced driving or emergency response driving. The sub-sector also incorporates driving examiners.

The driver training sub-sector is a steady employer with similar numbers of instructors in operation each year. It is difficult to estimate total numbers employed as driver trainers, as only car and motorcycle instructors are required to register to operate and some who are registered may not be in work.

Key statistics:

  • There are almost 43,000 people working in the driver training sub-sector and around 33,000 employers.
  • The sub-sector is made-up of a large number of sole operators and self-employed workers (more than 75%).
  • 34% of driving trainers are female.
  • The average age of employees is 47 years.
  • Due to experience and licensing requirements, only 2% of driver trainers are under the age of 25 years.
  • There are limited opportunities for progression within the sub-sector, but trainers can expand their remit to other driving skills or to offer advanced skill lessons.
  • The average number of working hours is 37 per week, but this is variable for sole traders.

Jobs in the sub-sector include: driving instructor, advanced driving instructor, driving examiner, motorcycle instructor, specialist skills trainer

Car and motorcycle instructors must undergo training to qualify as an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) and need to have held a UK driving licence for at least four years. Driver training requires specific skills, such as the ability to deal with a variety of people and to understand how they might learn. Most driver trainers start out as car or motorcycle driving instructors and enter training to become an approved driving instructor. It can take up to 3 years to become an approved driving instructor.

Driving examiners can enter the sub-sector with no specific qualifications, and do not need to have worked as an instructor. Examiners need sound judgement as they are required to assess people often under quite stressful situations.

To train people to drive buses, coaches, large good vehicles and emergency vehicles, trainers usually need to have worked within the relevant sub-sector beforehand. It is essential for trainers to have the appropriate driving skills and experience to be able to pass instruction on to others. These trainers will also require a relevant licence for the vehicle they are working in (for instance, a category D licence for passenger carrying vehicles).

The main skills gaps in the sub-sector are: foreign languages (27% of companies); disability awareness (19%); and job related IT (16%). Other skills that are valued in the sub-sector include: communication and customer service; teaching and interpersonal interaction; - organisational skills; and driving skills.

Regional and national data:

  • East Midlands – There are 4,400 people working in the driver training sub-sector in the region.
  • East of England – There are 6,600 people working in the driver training sub-sector in the region.
  • London – There are 4,200 people working in the driver training sub-sector in the region.
  • North East – There are 1,100 people working in the driver training sub-sector in the region.
  • North West – There are 4,200 people working in the driver training sub-sector in the region.
  • South East – There are 4,900 people working in the driver training sub-sector in the region.
  • South West – There are 3,400 people working in the driver training sub-sector in the region.
  • West Midlands – There are 4,400 people working in the driver training sub-sector in the region.
  • Yorkshire and the Humber – There are 4,000 people working in the driver training sub-sector in the region.
  • Northern Ireland – There are 900 people working in the driver training sub-sector in the region.
  • Scotland – There are 2,300 people working in the driver training sub-sector in the region. Wales – There are 2,300 people working in the driver training sub-sector in the region.

Source: GoSkills AACS LMI report 2010

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Light rail, tram and metro

The light rail, tram and metro sub-sector is a relatively small sub-sector, with services in eight major towns and cities. The London Underground, which is a major employer in London, is also included. Light rail, tram and metro services (including underground services) are available in Blackpool, Glasgow, London, Nottingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Tyne and Wear and the West Midlands.

Key statistics:

  • There are approximately 15,000 people working in the light rail, tram and metro sub-sector.
  • There has been an increase in passenger numbers and the total distance travelled by tram, light rail and metro more than doubled over recent years.
  • There are concerns as a large number of older employees are approaching, or have reached, retirement age, but there are not enough experienced employees to replace them.

Jobs in the sub-sector fall into the following areas:

  • Driving – such as tram, metro and underground drivers, team leaders, supervisor
  • Passenger services – such as customer service agent, passenger services assistant, operational support (i.e. in planning, performance management or marketing and sales)
  • Operations and service delivery – such as administrative staff (in planning, HR, marketing and sales or performance monitoring), operations officer

For most entry level jobs, there are no specific academic requirements other than a sound basic education. For some service planning and monitoring jobs, companies may look for a higher level of maths or statistical ability. Many driving positions are recruited from within the workforce – companies choose to recruit passenger services assistants and to provide them with driving skills.

There are a range of sub-sector endorsed courses, training schemes and vocational qualifications (in Rail Transport Operations). As there are no opportunities to gain experience of driving light rail, tram or metro vehicles, sub-sector organisations have training programmes in place for trainee applicants to achieve the required skills.

Employment levels in the sub-sector have remained fairly stable, with notable changes only occurring when new transport systems have opened. Recently, there has been increased investment in light rail, tram and metro systems, with plans for expansion and investigations into the potential for new systems in several major cities across the UK. Retention issues tend to arise for new workers who fail to adapt to working shift patterns.

The main skills gaps in the sub-sector are foreign languages (26% of companies) and job related IT skills (14%). The skills most valued by the sub-sector include: customer service; communication; and team working. Other useful skills include: health and safety; information technology; organisational skills; and people management.

National and regional data:

  • East Midlands – There is one operating company in the East Midlands; the Nottingham Express Transit, which operates 15 light rail vehicles in Nottingham.
  • East of England – There are no companies operating in the East of England.
  • London – In London there are several companies operating, including: Croydon Tramlink; Docklands Light Railway; and London Underground.
  • North East – There is one company operating in the North East – the Tyne and Wear Metro, which operates 90 metro vehicles around the area.
  • North West – There are two companies operating in the North West: Manchester Metrolink, which operates 32 metro vehicles in Manchester; and the Blackpool Tram, which operates 75 trams in Blackpool (this includes vintage demonstration services).
  • South East – There are no companies operating in the South East.
  • South West – There are no companies operating in the South West.
  • West Midlands – There is one company operating in the West Midlands – the Midland Metro. The company employs approximately 170 members of staff.
  • Yorkshire and the Humber – There is one operating company in Yorkshire and the Humber– Sheffield Supertram, which operates 25 trams in Sheffield.
  • Northern Ireland – There are no companies operating in Northern Ireland.
  • Scotland – There is one company operating in Scotland – the Glasgow Subway, which employs approximately 370 people.
  • Wales – There are no companies operating Wales.

Source: GoSkills AACS LMI report 2010

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Rail

The rail sub-sector is one of the largest industries in the passenger transport sector incorporating rail operating services and rail engineering. Within train operating companies, the main jobs are customer focused, but there are many jobs in operations and service delivery. Engineering is a large part of the sub-sector with engineers and technicians responsible for the rolling stock, the track (permanent way) and its surrounds, telecommunications and the electrification of the railway.

The rail sub-sector is a large employer in the UK. Rail services are provided by 25 train operating companies – some provide services that go across the UK, whereas others are more localised. The largest employer in the sub-sector is Network Rail, which employs about 20% of the rail workforce.

The main occupations in the rail sub-sector are engineers and drivers, with on train staff and station staff also making up large numbers. Neither rail operations nor rail engineering companies have major difficulties in recruitment.

Key statistics:

  • There are around 159,000 people working in the rail sub-sector, of which:
      • 47,000 work for train operating companies
      • 112,000 work for Network Rail and in supplier and engineering companies
  • There are around 2,500 stations in the UK, of which 18 are managed by Network Rail.
  • 4% of the driving and maintenance workforce is female, 31% of the customer service staff workforce is female and 11% of engineering workforce is female.
  • 15% of the rail operations workforce is from an ethnic minority background and 5% of engineering workforce is from an ethnic minority background.
  • The average age of employees is 39 years.
  • 40% of the workforce is over 45 years of age.
  • The average working hours for a rail sub-sector employee are 37 per week.
  • Shift working is the norm within the sub-sector.
  • Just 2% of the workforce is employed part-time.
  • Trainee driver vacancies are competitive as there can be more than 300 applications for each job available.

Jobs in the sub-sector fall into the following areas:

  • Rail operations (customer facing and service delivery) – such as train driver, station staff member, train crew member, control room operator, service planner, signaller, train manager, rail station assistant, conductor, gateline assistant
  • Engineering – such as engineer, technician, assistant engineer, technician manager, track maintenance worker, signalling technician, traction and rolling stock technician, rail engineering apprentice

For most entry level jobs, there are no specific academic requirements other than a sound basic education. For train crew and station staff jobs, i.e. customer facing roles, experience of working in customer service environments, such as a call centre, bar, restaurant or shop work is an advantage. Employers are looking for communication skills and the ability to deal confidently with the public.

To become a train driver, applicants can either apply for a trainee position or gain employment in another rail sub-sector role and wait for a trainee driver vacancy to be advertised internally. It is more common for trainee driver positions to be recruited internally. Driving roles only require a standard education, but with increasing competition a higher level of education can be an advantage.

Engineers can be recruited as trainees or as experienced technicians. Applicants are usually expected to have had some basic education in engineering, such as a GCSE or entry level award in engineering or technology. For more experienced positions, applicants are usually expected to have relevant related work experience, such as construction or mechanics. To work on the railway, technicians and engineers need a personal track safety (PTS) card. Employers often provide the required training for employees to gain a PTS card. Alternatively, some recruitment agencies will pay for the required training.

The main skills gaps in the rail operations are foreign languages (26% of companies) and job related IT (14%). In rail engineering, skills gaps are for: foreign languages (13% of companies); job related IT (13%); safety/accident management (13%); management and leadership (13%); and team working (13%). The skills most valued by the sub-sector include: customer service; communication; organisational and planning skills; team working; and health and safety.

National and regional data:

  • East Midlands – There are 3,100 people working in the rail sub-sector in the region.
  • East of England – There are 4,400 people working in the rail sub-sector in the region.
  • London – There are 3,300 people working in the rail sub-sector in the region.
  • North East – There are 1,200 people working in the rail sub-sector in the region.
  • North West – There are 6,500 people working in the rail sub-sector in the region.
  • South East – There are 9,000 people working in the rail sub-sector in the region.
  • South West – There are 4,500 people working in the rail sub-sector in the region.
  • West Midlands – There are 4,300 people working in the rail sub-sector in the region.
  • Yorkshire and the Humber – There are 5,800 people working in the rail sub-sector in the region.
  • Northern Ireland – There are 500 people working in the rail sub-sector in the region. Scotland – There 3,200 people working in the rail sub-sector in the region.
  • Wales – There are 2,100 people working in the rail sub-sector in the region

Source: GoSkills AACS LMI report 2010

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Taxi and private hire

The taxi and private hire sub-sector offers dedicated passenger services, providing door-to-door services tailored to the passenger’s requirements. Taxis can take bookings in advance and can also be hailed from the street, whereas private hire cars can only take bookings. The sub-sector is mostly made up of small businesses, self-employed workers and sole operators. In terms of work opportunities, the main employment is driving, although many companies also need dispatchers, control room operators and managers.

The taxi and private hire sub-sector has seen a small, but steady rise in employment. Most local authorities cap the number of licences available for drivers, and there tends to be more licences for private hire vehicle drivers than for taxi drivers. Many licensed drivers set up their own business. However, employment estimates and numbers of sole traders may be higher, as it is difficult to calculate those who are self-employed.

The taxi and private hire sub-sector has reported some recruitment difficulties, but few retention issues.

Key statistics:

  • There is an estimated 170,000 people working in the taxi and private hire sub-sector.
  • There are around 157,000 employers/companies in the UK.
  • Much of the workforce is made up of self-employed drivers and sole operators; 29% of businesses in the sub-sector have only one employee.
  • 88% of the workforce is male.
  • 22% of the workforce is from an ethnic minority background.
  • The average age of employees is 47 years.
  • The average working hours for a driver are 40 per week.
  • 22% of the workforce is employed part-time.

Jobs in the sub-sector fall into the following areas:

  • Driving – such as licensed taxi driver, private hire driver, chauffeur
  • Operations and service delivery – such as control room staff, taxi and private hire dispatcher, operations manager, telephone operator, taxi and private hire company owner

For most entry level jobs, there are no specific academic requirements other than a sound basic education. For operations and service delivery staff, skills in information technology, customer service and communication are important. Taxi or private hire drivers must obtain a licence to operate. These are obtained from the local authority/council licensing office, each of which has its own standards and criteria for issuing a licence. There is often a requirement for drivers to pass a local road and landmark knowledge test.

The main skills gaps in the sub-sector are: foreign languages (26% of companies); job related IT (21%); and vehicle engineering and maintenance (18%). The skills most valued by the sub-sector include: communication and customer service; organisational skills; and information technology.

National and regional data:

  • East Midlands – There are 11,400 people working in the taxi and private hire sub-sector in the region.
  • East of England – There are 17,100 people working in the taxi and private hire sub-sector in the region.
  • London – There are 32,900 people working in the taxi and private hire sub-sector in the region.
  • North East – There are 9,200 people working in the taxi and private hire sub-sector in the region.
  • North West – There are 27,100 people working in the taxi and private hire sub-sector in the region.
  • South East – There are 26,800 people working in the taxi and private hire sub-sector in the region.
  • South West – There are 8,100 people working in the taxi and private hire sub-sector in the region.
  • West Midlands – There are 16,100 people working in the taxi and private hire sub-sector in the region.
  • Yorkshire and the Humber – There are 16,300 people working in the taxi and private hire sub-sector in the region.
  • Northern Ireland – There are 3,700 people working in the taxi and private hire sub-sector in the region.
  • Scotland – There 18,300 people working in the taxi and private hire sub-sector in the region.
  • Wales – There are 7,100 people working in the taxi and private hire sub-sector in the region.

Source: GoSkills AACS LMI report 2010

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Transport planning

The transport planning sub-sector is responsible for developing ideas, solutions and plans to help travel and traffic movement around the UK. The sub-sector is relatively small with a highly skilled workforce. There are a range of occupations within the sub-sector from planning technician to transport planning consultant. Transport planners work in a range of organisations, including: government (central or local); specialised consultancies; and transport companies.

The transport planning sub-sector is experiencing a shortage in transport planners. The demand for new transport planners is an estimated 600 per year. However, there are only an estimated 100 to 150 entering the sub-sector every year. There are difficulties in recruiting to the sub-sector, largely due to the graduate nature of recruitment practices.

Key statistics:

  • There are around 12,000 people working in transport planning sub-sector and around 1,000 employers.
  • 82% of the workforce is male.
  • 17% of the workforce is under 30 years and 44% is over 50 years of age.
  • Entry to the sub-sector requires a degree in a relevant subject, but plans to develop vocational qualifications are underway to offer an alternative route in.
  • There is a shortage of town planners entering the sub-sector.

Jobs in the sub-sector include: planning technician, transport planner, planning consultant, senior consultant, administration, graphics/design worker

For entry level roles at planning technician level, employers require applicants to have a first degree. Degrees in subjects such as geography, civil engineering, environmental science or statistics are usually preferred. Degrees in other disciplines are also acceptable, but the applicant has to prove that they have good numeracy and literacy skills as well as an interest in transport and the environment. It is relatively uncommon to recruit people without a degree unless they have built up considerable related experience.

Transport planners can be employed at several levels and there are opportunities for progression, from planning technician, to transport planner, to planning consultant and finally senior consultant. There are also a range of support roles, such as administration and graphics/design work. To work in transport planning, it is also important to have an understanding of transport policy, the environment and the economy.

The main skills gaps in the sub-sector are management and leadership (36% of companies) and foreign languages (20%). The skills most valued by the sub-sector include: communication (interpersonal liaison and public presentation skills); statistical analysis; organisational and project management skills; information technology; and team working.

There are limited regional data on the transport planning sub-sector.

Source: GoSkills AACS LMI report 2010

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